tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC March 26, 2020 1:00am-2:00am PDT
mainland china there was human to human transmission and they did the same thing. those are the countries that had it under control. we should have been one of the. >> thank you. >> thank you so much for your time tonight. >> thank you very much. >> "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. it remains a remarkable sight. a desolate times square in an increasingly desolate city of new york. well, good evening to you once again. day 1,161 of the trump administration. 223 days until our presidential election. and this marks two weeks, 14 days since the world health organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. and we have now a suggested name for this thing we're all living under, especially the 170
million give or take of us who are under some form of house arrest. people have floated out the term the great adaptation. and we should all hope that's all it is, by the way. and not a reformation of our country or our lives long term or the u.s. economy. "washington post" put up some drones and sent out some cameras today to record just how desolate it is out there in the cities and municipalities that have shut down and chased the people inside. it's historic. it has changed our country. it's taken people from us. and sadly, it will take more. and it's been ravaging different countries on its way here. 467,000 confirmed cases around the world now. the number of dead in spain has now surpassed the death toll in china. as great britain remains in limited lockdown, we learned
today prince charles has the virus. mild symptoms. he's self-isolating. in this country our president used today's white house briefing to accuse journalists sitting before him of writing fake news. he went after our allies. he relitigated his case against nato. he still says he wants to get people out and about starting easter sunday or before, as he added today. even though such decisions would be made by governors and mayors and not made by him, he's still talking about being able to clear large sections of the country to go out and about again. many smart professionals fear that is a suicide mission. no matter that the president thinks packed churches on easter sunday would be a beautiful thing. in the real world our country has now passed 65,000 cases, up roughly 10,000 since we last spoke here. the number of dead americans is inching toward 1,000.
"washington post" says this was the deadliest 24 hours thus far. for contrast here's a little bit of that briefing at the white house. >> so important. social distancing, such an important phrase. and we do it right now. the more lives we can save and the sooner we can eventually get people back to work as we fight to protect american lives we're also protecting american livelihoods. we want to get everybody back working. together this $2.2 trillion legislative package is bigger than anything i believe ever
passed in congress. it's hard not to be happy with the job we're doing. i'm not going to do anything rash or hastily. i don't do that. by easter we'll have a recommendation and maybe before easter, and at the end of the 15th day or even during the 15th day i think we'll have some kind of a recommendation. but our country wants to get back to work. the longer we stay out the harder it is to bring this incredible -- we were having the most successful years that we've ever had in the history of our country. >> and of course experts have pointed out this virus does not report to any calendar. at the pentagon the surgeon general for the joint chiefs of staff sounded much more cautious about this easter deadline. >> i just got an update on modeling factors from a three-week perspective based on the planning factors that we have. we think that we're going to continue to see this, no surprise, continue to grow. >> we also learned that this may just be the first round in the battle with this virus. here is what dr. tony fauci said during today's white house briefing. notably, this was after the
president had exited the room. >> what we're starting to see now in the southern hemisphere, in southern africa and in the southern hemisphere countries, is that we're having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season. and if in fact they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we'll get a cycle around. it totally emphasizes the need to do what we're doing in developing a vaccine, testing it quickly, and trying to get it ready so that we'll have a vaccine available for that next cycle. >> and by the way, nbc news count has 18 states and now the district of columbia now with some form or fashion of restrictions on movement or large gatherings. and today it was clear some local officials are in no hurry to roll those back. >> this thing is not going to even peak we don't think until may 1. so i don't want toto mislead anybody.
this is not going to occur overnight. >> if we see gatherings, we will shut them down. period. this is not just another day. and no day will be just another day until we're on the other side of this virus. >> and we've been hearing a lot from the president lately about the swift improvement in coronavirus testing in our country compared to, say, south korea where they were fast to deploy testing, unlike us. well, today the president was once again boasting about the testing efforts. >> i'm going to say it again. we tested far more than anybody else. we did in eight days more than south korea did in eight weeks. that's a big number. >> remember, we lost about eight weeks in this fight by not testing. and both "usa today" and npr are debunking the president's last claim there. our population is six times that of south korea. they tested a much larger proportion of their population. there was also this from our
president late this afternoon. "the lamestream media is the dominant force in trying to keep me to keep our country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success." as you might imagine, he was asked about that at today's briefing. here's how he responded. >> the media would like to see me do poorly in the election. i think there are certain people that would like it not to open so quickly. i think there are certain people that would like it to do financially poorly because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls. and i don't know if that's so, but i do think it's so that a lot of -- that there are people in your profession that would like that to happen. i think it's very clear they would love to see me for whatever reason, because we've done one hell of a job. nobody's done the job that we've done.
>> and at long last the u.s. senate appears to have agreed on a bill. $2 trillion give or take. those checks that have been promised to americans are part of this. but if you don't have direct deposit, could be a month from now by mail. despite the bipartisan efforts, members of both parties concede it is far from a perfect solution. >> the senate is going to stand together, act together, and pass this historic relief package today. struggling americans are going to go to their mailboxes and find four-figure checks to help with their bills. why? because the senate stepped up. >> like all compromises this bill is far from perfect. but we believe the legislation has improved sufficiently to warrant its quick consideration and passage. because many democrats and republicans were willing to do the serious and hard work, the bill is much better than when we started. >> in the meantime, a man who is in the teeth of this crisis,
governor andrew cuomo, says this bill doesn't do nearly enough to help his state of new york, which now has over half the total number of coronavirus cases in our country. >> new york city only gets $1.3 billion from this package. that is a drop in the bucket. as to need. i spoke to our house delegation, congressional delegation, this morning. i said to them this doesn't do it. you know, i understand the senate theory and the republican theory. but we need the house to make adjustments. >> speaking of that, this now has to go over to the house. but speaker pelosi is urging her members, members of her caucus to vote in favor of what she acknowledged is an imperfect
bill. >> i agree with him. the governors need more money. we had 200 billion in our package. they had 150. but neither of those figures is enough to go forward. we do have to do more. but that would be no reason to stop this step that we are taking. >> here for our lead-off discussion on a wednesday night, three terrific journalists. peter baker, chief white house correspondent for the "new york times." kimberly atkins, senior washington correspondent for wbur, boston's npr news station. and robert costa, national political reporter for the "washington post," moderator of "washington week" on pbs. kim, i'd like to begin with you. just with a point of reference. it was two weeks ago today slash tonight, one of those you may remember where you were moments when the nba season was canceled and we learned that tom hanks and rita wilson had the virus. that hit a lot of americans. it put a real spin on this.
in these two weeks look at how partisan the argument over a pandemic has become. is this, kim, just a preview? >> i think so. i think we will continue to see where the fault lines lie despite the really urgent need for relief. i mean, keep in mind a lot of people are calling this a stimulus bill or relief bill. this is really an emergency disaster sort of bill. this is trying to get money primarily to hospitals and other medical professionals to get the supplies that they need. it's to get money in the hands of americans who are starting to lose their jobs by the millions. that's the numbers we're expecting to hear from tomorrow's numbers. and really try to keep people from going under. but we're seeing, first it's starting with issues like abortion and now it's going down to issues like who should get unemployment. how much should be given?
that are really holding up this bill and preventing it from being the sort of fast relief that it's meant to be. already lawmakers are acknowledging that they have to start drafting the next, the fourth and the fifth coronavirus-related bill to give the kind of support that americans need, that companies need, that employers need, that everyone needs. and politics were a factor in it the entire way. >> peter baker, i noted you tweeted out a quote from the president's news briefing today. i'm not going to do anything rash or hasty, i don't do that. let me ask you, though, is he viewing this rise in case numbers along with the economy, the dow, unemployment stats coming out tomorrow, do you think those all go into the same hopper as he views this crisis?
>> well, clearly in the last few days he's put a little more emphasis on the economic toll here. last week of course he told us that the economy didn't matter, we would put it back together once this was over, saving lives was his only real priority. this week he's saying look, we have to have a larger perspective on this, that keeping everything closed for a long time can be deleterious effects for the economy too that might be worse than the total from the coronavirus. of course most public health experts are saying he's being too hasty at this point, he is being rash by suggesting this can be wrapped up by easter in effect. my guess is that the numbers keep going the way that the public health experts expect them to go that will look a lot harder once easter comes around. really we're seeing a death toll that is exponentially larger than it is today come early april. i think that choice for the president about trying to reopen things will be very difficult. you saw today that a number of governors and other municipalities around the country basically are rejecting the president's timeline because they themselves are already extending the closure of schools and other orders beyond that april 12th date. maryland, led by a republican governor, larry hogan, extended
the closure of schools beyond the april 12th date. they're not expecting this to reopen by easter. and neither of course is anybody in new york or california. he's put himself in that position where he will have to reconcile his own rhetoric with the reality. in a week or two we'll see where that stands. >> robert, i truly hate the fact that we are talking about partisan politics during a pandemic at the top of our broadcast, but this is the life we've chosen and this is the world as we look out upon it in washington. polling out today. are you concerned about coronavirus outbreak in your area? these numbers have been on the move, robert. but at the end bringing us to real time, 87% of democrats, 51% of republicans saying yes, indeed they are. that's still, robert, a huge gulf. >> on the phone today with
numerous governors it was clear to me talking to governor hogan, talking to governor whitmer of michigan that they are looking at this in a non-partisan way. many republican and democratic governors. they have health concerns in their states. when they make decisions about closures. they're trying to work with the federal government. so many of them are pulling some punches about president trump as they look to acquire supplies like ventilators and masks. at the same time president trump is part of this roaring debate inside of the white house to build on peter's point about trying to get the economy restarted by easter sunday, by mid-april. but he's being told by many republicans to be careful about that because you don't know about the consequences.
but the president is so eager to get this done. and he's getting encouragement. based in my reporting, governor desantis of florida and allies of president trump like governor reeves of mississippi, these conservative republicans are saying to him we need to get our economy restarted and they're telling people inside the white house they need to get this economy restarted. so as much as governors in many of these embattled states are striking a non-partisan cautious tone, there are other governors out there, many on the republican side, who are more in the president's camp of being raring to go. >> we should reference on the left side of the screen of course we're showing live the well of the senate. these senators. let's go ahead and predict. will probably never have a vote allocating more money from the u.s. treasury than the vote they are taking tonight. kim atkins, let me give you a theoretical. member of congress, house or senate, from a bright red state reacting to this virus, which of course knows no distinction between red states or blue. some of them are hearing a vastly different picture from back home than they're hearing from the white house briefing room. >> they are. and although we have seen the
impact of this virus so far really impacting bigger cities in terms of things like numbers of cases or even numbers of deaths, it tends to be higher in more densely populated cities. it's also hitting port cities on the coast harder economically right now than others. but this is going to spread. it's beginning to hit industries like farming, agriculture, very soon because we're not by any indication at the peak of this. this isn't plateauing yet. it's only going up. it's going to hit just about every industry. it's going to hit the heartland and it's really not going to matter whether a state is red or blue. it will all feel the impact of covid-19. the fact that they will have to move expeditiously to get this passed, try to get past the politics of this, and really be responsive, i've already heard from people on the ground who contact me, they're very happy
with the way their local and state officials have been responding to this because they have acted more quickly, they have been urging greater action from washington. it's washington that looks like it's moving slowly, and that needs to catch up. >> peter baker, the president now resorting to telling the country that he's doing a great job. the quote from the briefing, "it's hard not to be happy with the job we're doing. that i can tell you." sensitive about this plot because it runs counter to what the other side is pointing out. i want to run an ad that the trump campaign is trying to get off the air, an attack ad currently airing in four battleground states. >> the coronavirus. >> this is the new hoax. >> we have it totally under control.
it's one person coming in from china. >> one day it's like a miracle, it will disappear. >> when you have 15 people and within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. we really think we've done a great job in keeping it down to a minimum. >> i like this stuff. i really get it. people are surprised that i understand it. >> no, i don't take responsibility at all. >> peter, the president has tried it, but it's hard to say you didn't say something when we can hear it. >> yeah, most of those things of course were the tone he took before about a week and a half ago when he started to treat it more seriously. he's pivoted back again these last few days and compared it once again to the regular flu and suggested in fact that it's running its course faster than anybody would have thought. they're trying to keep that ad off the air, part of that one specific quote about the hoax,
the argument is that he wasn't calling the coronavirus itself a hoax, he was calling -- he was comparing the democratic and media criticism of it to what he calls the ukraine hoax or the mueller hoax. fox news for instance decided to keep that off the air as a result. some of the fact-checking organizations have said that that has been used misleadingly at times by his critics. but the rest of those quotes are all pretty accurate and pretty much indicative of the attitude he exhibited for the first number of weeks of this crisis. and it took the market crash and pretty dire numbers to turn that around about a week and a half ago, two weeks ago. he's going to have to explain himself and defend himself. this is going to be an important part of the conversation later this year when we get back to the campaign for whether he gets a second term or not. >> just saw the members of the u.s. senate in the well, some of them practicing social distancing better than others. robert costa, i need a straight up prediction from you along with any of the granularity you've picked up in your reporting. what's the chance that this is the last time they vote on a massive dollar amount in what kim correctly says is a rescue bill? >> well, brian, just a few moments ago leader mcconnell announced this would be the last vote in the senate until late
april. so there will not be a vote on another rescue package, another phase of this until then. they are going to try to stay away from the capital. and go back to their states as this entire national crisis unfolds. but when you talk to people inside the white house and close to the treasury secretary, they believe if the economy is not reopened by late april, by early may, there's going to almost certainly need to be another round as kim said so well, another round of fiscal stimulus. the question for many in the white house is that what are their options on the table at this point? the federal reserve putting -- injecting 4 trillion into this process. congress injecting its own 2 trillion in. so you have, as larry kudlow said, about a $6 trillion rescue package altogether, both monetary and financial from congress. so what are the options moving forward? are you going to go into negative interest rates?
it's hard to see what that path would look like. >> three terrific journalists. and we can now see three people with a terrific sense of interior design. peter baker, kimberly atkins, robert costa. three friends of this broadcast. thanks, guys, for coming on tonight. and coming up for us, the president says we don't have to test every state in what he calls the middle west for this virus before sending people back to work. infectious disease experts say it's not at all that simple. and later on, a campaign built on a surging u.s. economy braces for some big bad numbers that are coming out just hours from now. former labor secretary robert reich will be with us on what to expect as "the 11th hour" is just getting under way on this wednesday night.
large sections of the country. funny thing about this virus. as we've said, it doesn't respect state lines or calendars. here's what microsoft co-founder bill gates had to say about relaxing social distancing measures in order to help the economy. >> there really is no middle ground. and it's very tough to say to people hey, keep going to restaurants, you know, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner, just you know, we want you to keep spending because there's some -- maybe a politician who thinks gdp growth is what really counts. it's very irresponsible for somebody to suggest we can have the best of both worlds. >> we're very happy to have back with us dr. michael osterholm, professor and director of the
center for infectious disease research and policy at the university of minnesota. also happens to be co-author of the recent book "deadliest enemy: our war against killer germs," which he somehow knew how to write before this pandemic arrived. doc, you and i spoke just seems like it was a couple years ago. it was st. patrick's day. during our coverage of super tuesday edition 3. you said you estimated we'd still be at this, dealing with it by autumn. have you seen anything, heard anything to change that prognostication? >> i have not. at the time i mentioned to you that while a number of people in washington were treating this like a washington, d.c. blizzard, a couple of days and we'd be out of it. and i said at the time this was going to be a coronavirus winter, we were just in the first weeks of the season, nothing has changed at all.
what happened is the enormity of just how big the problem is now makes people really find it difficult to understand how it could get worse. but it's going to. and it will continue for the weeks and months ahead. >> i promise to never drag you into politics or try to convert you into being a politician. but coming off what you just said, when you hear the president talk about getting us out and about, filling the churches on easter sunday morning, what does that do to you? >> well, first of all, let me put it into context. i've been in the public health business for 45 years. i've served roles in the last five presidential administrations. i served two democratic governors, two republican governors, and one independent governor here in minnesota. and no one can tell you my partisan politics. so please take this comment as such. but right now we don't have a strategic national plan for this. the administration has failed to deliver anything to us that
would give us a road map of where we're at, where we're going. and we need that desperately because we are not going to get out of this anytime soon. and one of the things that we've learned about viruses, they cannot be convinced to do something different by rhetoric. they will do what they want to do by mother nature's hand. we have got to understand that now. >> i want to play you a quick interview with an e.r. doc, elmhurst hospital, elm hurst, queens. a place i hasten to add that pulled up a refrigeration truck today to serve as their temporary morgue. >> today is kind of getting worse and worse. we had to get a refrigerated truck to store the bodies of patients who are dying. we are right now scrambling to try to get a few additional ventilators. >> doctor, how far above capacity are our hospitals going to be running and when? >> well, first of all, i wrote a piece back in 2005 that talked about our lack of preparedness for a pandemic and i wish it were 2005 again because we were much better prepared back then than we are now.
we have basically gnawed our health care system down to the bone. there is no resiliency. on a given day 95% of the beds are already filled. we have no excess capacity for ventilators. i think one of the greatest tragedies is going to be many of our health care workers are going to suffer this infection and some die because of acquiring it at work because we don't have the protective equipment to protect them. so i think this situation is playing out in new york is obviously a very, very dramatic picture. and it will play out in other places around the country. and i think we have to understand that the health care system as we know it will be overwhelmed. there will never be another normal time. it will be a new normal. and we will understand what it meant to overwhelm a health care system, unlike anything that's ever happened before. >> wow, that gets our attention.
we're going to ask to talk to you again if you'd be so kind to join us from the twin cities. doctor, thank you very much on this day when we learned atlanta and detroit are already out of icu beds. coming up for us, perhaps you've heard of the spanish flu of 1918. well, for starters it wasn't spanish at all. there's a whole lot more to know about it that might help during these times. the man who wrote the book is standing by.
this is real. and our state and everyone in it needs to take it very seriously. our ventilator capacity is far from okay in louisiana. the problem isn't just that the cases are growing every day. it is that they're growing rapidly every day. if our growth continues, we could potentially run out of vents in the new orleans area in the first week in april.
>> one asterisk, remember they celebrated fat tuesday and mardi gras as usual, outdoors and together. but now there are dire warnings out of the state of louisiana as the governor tries to convince people to stay indoors. want to show you bourbon street in the quarter today. a lone public servant, a letter carrier, making his rounds. the governor said yesterday louisiana leads the world in new cases. 65 souls have already died there. our next guest who lives in new orleans recently wrote a "new york times" op-ed warning that the single most important lesson of the 1918 influenza was tell the truth. with us for more tonight, veteran journalist john barry. he's the author of the best-selling book "the great influenza: the story of the deadliest pandemic in history." john, while grateful that we grabbed one of the last vacations apparently in america, i have to give your book credit for ruining mine because it's
all i read while i was away. having said that, please give us a brief update on the city you and i both love, and that's new orleans. >> the governor's comments pretty much carried all you need to know. and it's a dire situation, extremely rapid growth in cases. i live in the french quarter. it's empty. testing is not available. the same thing that's happening in new york. we're just a little bit behind that pace, i'd say, unfortunately. hopefully something good will happen. we did institute -- go ahead. >> i was just going to make a point there's a ton of catholics down there, a ton of catholics in philadelphia where the archdiocese in philly canceled easter services as of today already for easter sunday.
i further thought of your book and the story you tell. perhaps you can tell the 60-second version here about the parade in philadelphia vis-a-vis what we now define as social distancing. >> in philadelphia they had a liberty long parade to sell war bonds. the medical community virtually universally advised canceling the parade. they didn't. and roughly 48 hours after the parade the average incubation period for influenza, hundreds of thousands of people in the street, and the disease just exploded and the city ended up one of the worst cities in the country, possibly in the world, in terms of death toll. that's the story in short. >> my heart broke last night in light of having just read your book when i read of the first three cases on the aircraft
carrier "theodore roosevelt," aka the big stick. if a virus itself could design a petri dish, it would be a city of 5,000 people all together, as close quarters as you can imagine, with only the flight deck and the tower for fresh air. and as you point out so vividly, 1918 it was all about these burgeoning military bases and barracks and that's how it got across the ocean to europe. >> it would have gotten there anyway. the training camps in the u.s. in the spring were infested with influenza. tens of thousands of troops made the voyage across, and that helped deliver it to europe. it would have gotten there anyway. a little bit more slowly. >> and just a point i made a minute earlier. the spanish flu by my reading of your book wasn't spanish at all. spain didn't have any curbs on their reporting during the war.
they wrote about it. so they got tagged with that to this day. >> exactly right. the other countries at war censored their press. spain did not. and the result is as you say it's known as spanish flu. there are various theories as to where the virus entered the human population jumping from an animal. spain is not even on the list as a possibility. we definitely know it didn't start in spain. could have started in the united states. i think most likely china. may have been vietnam. may even have been france. but not spain. >> potential readers should note the book is not a rom com. it is nonetheless fascinating
and couldn't be more timely. its author john barry nice enough to join us. from his beloved french quarter in the beloved city of new orleans, louisiana. thank you so much. and coming up for us, as one business magazine put it, the weekly job numbers out tomorrow will be shockingly bad. we'll talk to a former secretary of labor about what's coming. get it.
just hours from now really before the stock market opens in the morning we're going to get our first look at unemployment numbers. there will be no way to sugar-coat these. the job losses are expected to be record-breaking. cnbc reporting this. this sudden unprecedented spike, whether it's 2 million as expected by barclays or citigroup's 4 million projection is signaling, the unemployment rate will also lead from february's half-century low. 3.5%. to estimates that go as high as 10%. sadly, we might still just be getting started. for more we welcome to the broadcast robert reich, former secretary of labor under president clinton. professor of public policy at the university of california berkeley. and the author of the brand new book "the system: who rigged it, how we fixed it." more on that in a moment. mr. secretary, what do you think is going to come out tomorrow?
how deep a hole are we in? >> brian, we're in a very deep hole. and i would expect that at least 2 million new claims for unemployment insurance last week. now, that's just last week. that is a -- if it's anything close to that, that is a record. we've never seen that kind of a spike in unemployment claims before. and let me remind you, the people who are filing for unemployment claims, most of them think that they are eligible. that is a small fraction of the number of people who are actually unemployed. >> no one is tipping. no one needs dry cleaning. no one's eating at a restaurant. very few people are flying. it's just a hell of a thing to just make inactive such a huge component of our economy. since we've just passed this $2 trillion thing, it looks like
it's making its way slowly to the president's desk for signature, can we afford what it's going to cost us not to make people whole but to help our citizens who are out of work because of this? >> absolutely. i mean, if we can pass a $2 trillion tax cut in december of 2017 for mostly corporations and the very wealthy, we can certainly afford nearly $2 trillion to help people survive. brian, i wouldn't call this a stimulus bill. this is a survival bill. and it's a survival bill for really tens of millions of americans who will be out of work and must be out of work in order to protect themselves and protect the public. >> while you've been talking we've been showing in tribeca, new york storefronts.
high-end stores getting boarded up. some of them painted fashionably. but looking for all the world like they're preparing for a hurricane. it looks like the french quarter prior to a hurricane. and i suppose it is a storm they are getting ready for. what does this do? let's talk about your book for one second. to the rigged system. does this cripple it? idle it? add to it? or can we start from something closer to scratch? >> we're going to have to start from scratch. we are starting from scratch. i think the most important thing is to keep people safe and keep people at home and make sure that if people are at home they have enough money to tie them over. this is not a time to bail out big corporations, quite frankly. the bill that is emerging from the senate provides $500 billion for big companies. call me old-fashioned but i think we ought to spend every single dime on people and making sure that people are healthy, that they have access to medication if they need it, and certainly to hospitals, making sure that hospitals and hospital staffs have everything they need. and most importantly, that people have the income support they need to tie them over. again, this is a matter of survival. >> i'm not saying any employees are -- have it more dire than others or any are more valuable than others. but why does the president always mention the cruise ship
industry? of all the industries suffering right now. it occurs to me so many of them sail under flags not this country. and that's usually about avoiding taxes in this country. >> that's exactly right. those cruise ships are floating tax havens. they pay -- the cruise ship industry pays about .8 of 1% taxes. it's the lowest tax of any industry that can call itself, even halfway call itself american. they don't need and shouldn't get a tax break. they have collateral. that's called the ships. it's like the airline industry. they have collateral called airplanes. these people and these corporations are not going to go under because they can get low-interest loans that are going to keep them going and if worse comes to worst there is chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code which is designed
specifically to allow companies to reorganize their debts under bankruptcy. so that 500 billion that's going to big corporations, i frankly don't understand. i think it's put in there to appease a lot of the -- again, the big power interests. that's what my book is about. in the system. but we do need desperately to get money to small businesses and also particularly to individuals. and we're talking about an unprecedented number of people who are staying home. it is in the national interest for people to stay home. i understand there are a number of republican senators who are worried about too generous unemployment benefits in this bill coming out of the senate. well, that's absolutely ridiculous. we have a public interest in making sure that people are home and are safe. >> mr. secretary, thank you. the book is called "the system:
who rigged it, how we fix it." robert reich our guest tonight. coming up when we continue, the governor of florida refuses to order a stay at home order. not everyone in the state of florida government agrees. that would include our next guest when we come back. healthmarkets compares your current plan with thousands of options nationwide from national insurance companies. funny thing about health insurance, you don't think about how much you need it until you need it. he's not going to be okay. with so many changes to health insurance plans, are you still sure you have the right fit? having the wrong fit can cost you thousands. new plans are available that can save you money. that's why i love healthmarkets, your insurance marketplace. they guarantee you won't find a lower price anywhere for the plans they offer. their new fitscore instantly compares thousands of plans both on the government exchange and off to find the one that best fits your insurance needs. call or visit healthmarkets to find your fitscore today.
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if i get corona, i get corona. at the end of the day i'm not going to let it stop me from partying. we're just out here having a good time. whatever happens happens. with the bars being closed, you know, we'll find an alternative. >> that poor guy, that interview aired all over the world. he is now home after spring break in florida and in a long instagram post he wrote the following - "life is precious. don't be arrogant and think you're invincible like myself." florida's governor, meanwhile, standing by his decision not to issue a stay-at-home order, calling it "inappropriate." with us tonight is one state official who disagrees. nikki fried is commissioner of
agriculture and consumer services in florida, was the only democrat to win her state in 2018. commissioner, i have to say a lot of people have been surprised given the levels of poverty, especially working poor in florida, given the levels of old folks in florida, that the state hasn't been more aggressive. what do you fear is coming your way? >> you know, let me start off by saying these are unprecedented times that we're all dealing with and the governor's had to make a lot of tough decisions. but the data that we're seeing is that we're only a week behind california and we can't afford to be like new york and god
forbid italy. our population, our senior population is very similar to that of italy. so we have about 21% of our senior citizens that could jeopardize being sick and being ill. i can do the math just like anybody else. if we hospitalize over 400,000 of our floridians, we have only about 40,000 beds here in the state of florida. so if we don't stop the curve now and we don't take drastic measures now, we're putting not only our economy at risk but also lives of so many of our floridians. >> yeah, i was going to say where could those ventilators come from? they can't come from new york, a city in the teeth of this crisis. i want to play for you the governor's comments from earlier today. to be fair. we'll talk about them on the other side. >> there are certain parts of the state where you have more sporadic cases. and to issue -- to order someone not to be able to earn a paycheck when them going to work is not going to have any effect on what they're doing about the virus, that is something i think is inappropriate. you look at california. they were ordered not to go to work. so you look, they're out partying or at beaches and stuff. you probably are less dangerous just driving your car going to the office than being with crowds of hundreds of people. so you've just got to think it through. >> commissioner, i don't know how many californians are out
partying tonight. but what's your reaction to those comments specifically? >> what we're seeing is a piecemeal approach here in the state of florida. you've had a lot of our county and city commissioners that are stepping up to the plate, doing responsible actions by closing down their cities and their communities. we're seeing a lot of our businesses doing the same thing and take a responsible measured approach. and the confusion is rampant across our state. they have a lot of our small businesses and individuals that are anxious, they don't know what's coming, they keep getting different reports that this is closing and that's closing and non-essential businesses what does that mean. and with this piecemeal approach not only is it not going to flatten our curve but it's making people even more anxious and nervous about this. look, this is not a radical approach. we are seeing governors all across the country both republican and democrat doing this. this is the time to put state before our party and to make sure we're doing what's best for the citizens of our state. and the fact that we're now hearing messages from other parts of our country that we're seeing they're thinking of the
spread of their virus is coming from people that were traveling here to the state of florida. we don't have time to waste. we have lives at risk here. and we need the governor to change course, to be bold and to do what is necessary to save the lives of our citizens. i don't want to be in a situation where we're having to tell grandchildren, i'm sorry, grandma's not coming home because we have to give her ventilator to somebody else. that's half her age. that's a horrible conversation that we should not be having in america. i need our governor to change course to protect the lives of our citizens. >> governor hereby is invited any night on this broadcast that he would like to speak with us. we'd love to have him. our thanks to commissioner nikki fried of the state of florida. thank you so much. and that's going to do it for our broadcast tonight. on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night from our temporary field headquarters. our coverage continues of course
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rowithout the commission fees and account minimums. so, you can start investing wherever you are - even on the bus. download now and get your first stock on us. robinhood. good morning, earn. it is thursday, march 26th. the u.s. has hit a grim milestone as the number of deaths from the coronavirus passes 1,000, according to nbc news. it came as the nation recorded its deadliest day of the outbreak yet. more than 200 yesterday alone. meanwhile, that massive stimulus bill aimed at countering the economic effects of the virus is now in the hands of the house of representatives. majority leader steny hoyer says it will likely be approved by voice vote tomorrow morning and sent to the white house for the president's immediate signature. the senate approved the measure